So the WTA tour (not the Sony Ericsson WTA tour anymore. Although Sony Ericsson will continue to sponsor the tour until 2012. Apparently they want to keep it a secret though as neither the tour nor the season ending championships will bear their name) is gearing up for the first big tournament since the Australian Open: the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
This tournament is robbed of carrying the prestige it really deserves due to the fact that it is continually boycotted by both Williams sisters. But thinking back to the horrendous, and allegedly racist abuse from the crowd they both suffered back in 2001 I don't blame them. Almost a decade later the wounds are still hurting. Anyway its not like Serena cares. She has much better things to do like attend Oscars parties looking FIERCE! (see photo above. and do people still say fierce?)
So with no Williamses and Dinara Safina still out with a back injury French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova will be the top seed, followed by Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and Elena Dementieva. You know, my heart sinks when I see Wozniacki seeded so highly at such a major event. Sure she's a nice girl and showed real guts in Doha but in my opinion she hasn't got the game to justify such a high ranking.
The main draw doesn't get underway until Wednesday but the qualifying rounds will be played first. Britain's Elena Baltacha is the top seed with Tamarine Tanasugarn and the ever noisey Michelle Larcher de Brito other notable names in the draw.
Finally, my predicitons: the slumping Serbs Jankovic and Ivanovic will each have another poor result on their 2010 records, and up-and-comer such as Kleybanova, Pavlyuchenkova or Lisiki will make a good run to the semi/final but a more established player like Dementieva or Azarenka will be left holding the cup at the end of the fortnight.